Somerset

Fair Airways 'airline' with Taunton base investigated

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Media captionAlin Voion, who lives in Massingham Park, where Fair Airways states its corporate base is, said he was shocked his address was being used in such a way

Somerset trading standards is working to close down the website of an "airline" which claims it has a base in Taunton.

Fair Airways UK is advertising for staff on its website and candidates must pay £75 up-front.

But the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it had never heard of the airline and trading standards is trying to identify the people behind it.

Fair Airways has not responded to any calls or emails from the BBC.

The Fair Airways website states its flights to more than 36 countries will start on 1 November.

'Not realistic'

It directs potential cabin crew, ground and customer care staff to its Fair Academy website which offers theory courses in India and Switzerland, and practical courses in the UK.

The site states training registration costs £75, plus an optional £250 for food and accommodation if training in India.

Image caption Fair Airways states that its corporate base is in Massingham Park, Taunton

Binod Hyoju, from Nepal, who applied for a post, said: "When they asked for £250 I was really shocked that this company is asking for money for a job.

"I didn't send money because it was my suspicion that it was like a scam."

Somerset trading standards was tipped off about the website by a complaint from Kathmandu.

Team manager Andy Fowler from Somerset Country Council said: "The thought of basing a UK Royal Airline, as it says, in a market town in Somerset is not perhaps a realistic one.

"Our job now is to work with the internet service providers to identify the individuals behind it.

"One of our first jobs will be, if we can prove that it's bogus, to get the website taken down."

'No operating licence'

A spokesman for the CAA said: "In order to operate services legally, UK-based airlines are required to hold both an operating licence and an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) - issued by the CAA.

"To obtain these, airlines must meet strict criteria to demonstrate that the company is financially sound and is able to deliver services safely.

"The CAA can confirm that Fair Airways holds neither an operating licence nor an AOC, and has not submitted applications for either."

Alin Voion, who lives in Massingham Park, where Fair Airways states its corporate base is, said he was shocked his address was being used in such a way.

"I hope somebody's going to do something about it," he said.

The BBC has been trying to contact Fair Airways since 1 August but is yet to receive a response.